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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 May;25 Suppl 1:S62-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2010.06231.x.

Efficacy of antibiotic combination therapy in patients with active ulcerative colitis, including refractory or steroid-dependent cases.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.



We previously demonstrated that antibiotic combination therapy is effective for induction and maintenance of ulcerative colitis (UC) remission. Herein, we assessed whether antibiotic combination therapy is effective for active UC, including cases with steroid refractory or dependent disease.


We enrolled 25 patients with active UC including 17 steroid-dependent or refractory cases. These patients received amoxicillin 500 mg t.i.d., tetracycline 500 mg t.i.d. and metronidazole 250 mg t.i.d. for 2 weeks as well as conventional treatment. Seven colonic segments from the appendiceal region to the rectum were scored for endoscopic activity and histology. Clinical activity indexes (CAI) were also determined.


At 3 and 12 months after antibiotic treatment, CAI and endoscopic score were significantly decreased as compared to those before treatment (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, P < 0.01, respectively). Histological scores were also significantly decreased at 12 months as compared to before treatment (P < 0.01). The clinical response rates in steroid-dependent patients were 60% and 73.3% at 3 and 12 months, respectively, while being 50% at 12 months in steroid-refractory patients. Among the 17 steroid-dependent or refractory patients, 12 (70.6%) were able to discontinue steroid therapy at 12 months. No serious drug-related toxicities were observed during the trial.


This long-term follow-up study suggests 2-week antibiotic combination therapy to be effective and safe in patients with active UC including those with steroid-refractory or dependent disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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